An Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump
Dear President-elect Trump:
As I write this, the results of the election have had some time to sink in. You are our new president-elect. Congratulations! Like many Americans, I was disheartened by many aspects of this election, likely to go down as far and above the most degrading and nastiest in the history of our great nation. It is clear now that America continues to sink deeper into a cruel divide, fueled in part by the media, and in part by the social fabric of our society being more interwoven than ever before. I am not ashamed to say that I did not support you in this election. I have found the last eight years of President Obama to be of great social progress, and for the overall betterment of America. I do not agree with many things you said, did, or eluded to during your campaign. I do not agree with many of your party’s targets and goals for the country. While there are traces of agreement I carry with some financial views of the Republican Party, I cannot look past the social platform of hate and disrespect the party has adopted. Like many Americans, I question your experience and fitness to be president. I fear what may happen if you are having a bad day and a foreign crisis arises. I question what to tell my children about your past history and behavior, especially towards women. I do not know what to do about any of it.
But…you will still be my president.
There is violence, protesting, and hate flying everywhere since you won this election. As a youngish, white male, I’m not going to pretend I know how it feels to be a member of a “targeted class.” Aside from some social media arguing and one rather profane reaction to the news of your victory, I have chosen to reflect on what I want my country to be. Peaceful. Accepting. Open. And, perhaps more than anything else right now, politically educated. The world we live in lacks a fundamental understanding of how politics work. People post opinions that are not well-formed, based on memes and web links from controversial sources. There are very few who are willing to understand the stances and views of their counterparts before asserting their own views. People do not understand, there is more than one right way to see things. But those of us that do understand know what you have ahead of you. And I, for one, want to help. I want to tell my children I can help to make our already great nation even greater, even in disagreement, by lending support when I can. Sure, I’m just a lowly peon from a political standpoint, but the simple act of a calm, thoughtful understanding of two (or more) views on an issue can be supportive to what you are trying to achieve as our president. Thoughtful conversation leads to new ideas, which lead to compromise with substance — something Washington does not know how to do. I will do my part towards this, if you are willing to do yours.
I know there are some issues that don’t find compromise — each American has their own values that aren’t negotiable. And I am positive there will be decisions made along the way that I will be unable to support you on — that’s the nature of politics. I will not be afraid to assert my first amendment rights when I feel people are being harmed unnecessarily. I will support my LGBTQ friends against every word of discriminatory rhetoric and every attempt at regulation of sub-human policies. I will not accept the alienation of Americans with religious views of any kind. I will treat character as the measurement of a person’s status, not the color of their skin. I will always look at ability first, and never put people with disabilities in a different category than anyone else. Americans are Americans. I will hope and encourage a fundamental shift on the social platform of the Republican Party, but, again, I am but a political peon. Just know that I will support the success of our country — and everyone in it — however I can.
The vitriol that has taken place since this election is simply unacceptable. President-elect Trump, you deserve an open-minded nation and a fair chance to help the country build upon its successes. Please know that I am not in support of those who protest against your victory. I will not sign a petition to retroactively overturn the very process that brought you a fair and square victory (though I must admit, I cannot yet speak towards my opinion of future overhauling of America’s electoral process). I am defeated, but I am also willing to accept this defeat and move forward as positively as I can. As our new president, I am hopeful that you too will see the awesome task before you, and will open up to those who may not agree with your policies and thoughts. Isaac Asimov said, “your assumptions are your windows to the world. Scrub them off every one in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Each and every American needs to do this. You will soon be our Commander in Chief. Our example to the world. Leader of those who agree with everything you do, as well as those who despise everything you stand for. For our country and for my children, you have my support for America’s progress. You have my ear for your thoughts. You have my opinions, positive and negative, for your feedback. You have all of this because, for better or for worse, you are my president.